Return To Spring 2021

Shared Workspaces Units that have employee workspaces that make it difficult to maintain social distancing should develop a work plan with their supervisor. For example, meetings can be scheduled to occur virtually or in a different or larger space identified. Plans that alternate employees in these spaces are encouraged. Another technique to help achieve social distance in common office suites is to use breakrooms as “scheduled” work rooms. Often, employees who would normally be in frequent proximity to each other can be scheduled to get “alone” time in a breakroom that will allow them to unmask for a short respite. As shown in the diagram below, each single office (light green) should only house a maximum of one individual. The common area (gray) could house an additional one or two individuals, depending on furniture. Markers (shown as blue dots) should be placed for patrons so they know where to wait at a safe distance from the counter. If one of the patrons needs to speak with the staff member in room 132, a short conversation with both the staff member and the patron wearing masks is acceptable with social distancing. However, virtual meetings or phone calls are encouraged.


Example of a socially distanced office layout:

Blue Dots mark the


safe social distance for queue line.


Whenever possible, departments should eliminate shared items in the workplace and restrooms (e.g. lotions, sprays, pens, markers, shared kitchen supplies). Offices that need to provide shared pens for their patrons should only allow for single use and must disinfect the pens after each use. A best practice is to maintain a container for disinfected pens, and a container for used pens. It is recommended that these containers be clearly marked using labels and color coding. Cubicles do not have separate air supply and return ducts like individual offices do, so virus particles are more of a risk. Therefore, cubicles and plexiglass dividers do not count as an “office,” and masks must be worn at all times in these types of spaces. Departments may use their breakrooms or conference rooms at scheduled times for single individuals to unmask for a break.



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